Spending the summer together on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, challenges confront them at every turn.
As they search for their new normal in their old environment, Collin's brother Sean surprises them with help when they need it most. But when word about their relationship gets out, trouble erupts with friends and family. When Collin's relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother's custody battle and Tanner struggles with his feelings for a heartbroken Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone he cares about would be better off without him in the picture.
In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear to Collin that their love for each other is all that matters.
This is the final novella in the Moments in Time series, which I still hold should have been published as one longer novel.
Moment of Clarity is an easy, fairly steamy read. Stivali's writing is polished and fairly engaging.
Collin and Tanner get their HEA (or at least strong HFN), but not without buckets of (mostly unnecessary) angst.
Look, life sometimes flips you the finger. I get that. But what befalls Collin and Tanner is a shitstorm of homophobia and hysteria.
Collin reconnects with his brother Sean, but Sean's estranged wife Laura barges in spouting homophobic slurs and threatening everyone in the vicinity. Not only was this over the top, it was also not believable.
To add insult to injury, the MCs deal with flooded dorms and more homophobia on campus. Again, the latter was too much. Colleges do have policies protecting students from hate crimes and vicious slurs. Tim's harassment and destruction of property were cray-cray and would have been at least acknowledged in some way.
Then of course we have ever-present Wendy. Let's not forget she was the one Tanner was screwing in front of Collin every Monday night. I was over Wendy in book one. And she's still here.
Let's be clear: I don't care about Wendy, her love life, her torn leggings, or her tears. She's dumb and manipulative, and the attempts at painting her as a sympathetic character were irritating.
And, finally, we get Collin the martyr, sacrificing himself for the good of the world. Or whatever. That's a tired plot device, and it wasn't successful here.
Even so, I liked the tenderness between Collin and Tanner, and I was happy to get an epilogue.